Proteus celebrates 40 years serving migrant workers

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DES MOINES — Proteus, a Des Moines-based nonprofit that helps immigrant farmworkers find support to live safely and securely, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Named after the Greek God that transforms to the needs of the people, Proteus focuses on Iowa’s migrant farmworkers, many of whom work sunup ‘til sundown and are therefore rarely seen in their greater communities. The nonprofit estimates it has served 75,000 people since 1979. “Working with the clients and patients we do, these are the most hardworking and grateful individuals I have ever…

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OC Pride drag show survives city censorship

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ORANGE CITY –– In eastern and central Iowa, you can take in a sultry drag show several days a week without worry of any hassle from government officials or conservative activists. But in northwest Iowa’s Orange City, at the 3rd annual OC Pride celebration, city officials censored a headlining drag show, imposing a list of conditions for the performance including “no gyrating of buttocks, genitals or breasts” and “no physical contact” between performers and spectators. The city of Orange City announced its censorship of the show days before the performance…

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Roller derby carves spaces for inclusive strength

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Why did women and gender-fluid people start up to 2,000 roller derby leagues worldwide? We needed it.  I’m writing today about roller derby as a cultural phenomenon, a feminist and “inclusive” place to find like-minded people, showcase our strength, and be aggressive. I have had personal struggles and triumphs over body image, a lack of self-confidence, and an angry fire inside of me due to years of oppression. I have been roller skating since I was 8, but never realized that roller derby existed until I saw the movie “Whip…

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QUEERIES by Varla: How to reach my queer crush

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Help me Varla! I have a crush and I don’t know if she is queer or non-monogamous.  Apprehensively,  Hot to trot Dear Hot to Trot,  Sounds like you have been consumed by desire. The basis of any great relationship, or even hook-up, is friendship and communication. So start there! Invite her to queer things, like the IC Kings Shows starring yours truly, Me (shameless plug, last Thursday of every month at Studio 13, 9:30 p.m.) You could meet up at the Farmers Market or go clothes shopping at Menards,. But…

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